Constantine

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StephenGoranson
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Constantine

Post by StephenGoranson »

Though Constantine had considerable official political and military power, his role in Christian history is, imo, sometimes here exaggerated.
Maybe consider comparisons.
Akhenaten was a powerful official Pharaoh. He vigorously attempted to install a permanent religion change. And failed.
Mohammad did not start out from a position of power.
Coercion or totalitarian rule may impose relatively short-term or mid-term results. But, maybe you have noticed examples, also resistance and eventual collapse.
Constantine, seems to me, joined something that already existed.
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Constantine

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Bullneck

THREE DECADES: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/Const ... e-Ugly.htm

"Constantine
was a mocker
rather than a flatterer.
From this he was called
"Bullneck"

For ten years
a most excellent man;
For the following second ten
a brigand;

For the last,
on account of his
unrestrained prodigality,
a ward irresponsible
for his own actions."



The History of Aurelius Victor

StephenGoranson
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Re: Constantine

Post by StephenGoranson »

Similarly, it is relatively more plausible that Ptolemy II Philadelphus had something to do with prompting a Greek translation (not necessarily the first nor last Greek translation) of the Hebrew Bible, or parts of the eventual canon, than that he had any significant role with the probably-gradual formation of the Hebrew text.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Constantine

Post by Secret Alias »

More problematic is the role of previous Emperors in Christianity. For instance:

1. it is widely regarded that Eusebius's Church History derived from an original document which ended in the third century.
2. in that proto-history Aurelian is presented in a positive light arbitrating the Paul of Samosata controversy.
3. it is assumed that as a means of strengthening Constantine's CONTEMPORARY involvement in Christianity the original positive reference to Aurelian is tempered by a false claim that he was preparing to persecute Christianity before his untimely death. The same claim surfaces in Lactantius for the same reason.

It does seem strange that Aurelius who HAD involvements in/with Christianity should also have determined December 25th as the birth of the Sun but NOT to have also had an influence establishing December 25th as the birthdate of Jesus. After all Zenobia seems to have had close relations with Paul of Samosata. Other Alexandrian 'conspirators' seem also to have 'worked with' Zenobia.

The idea that (a) a fragment of Tatian's Diatessaron lay buried at Dura Europos and (b) Christian leaders who worked with Zenobia were punished by Aurelian and (c) Aurelian didn't have an influence establishing December 25th as the birthdate of Jesus seems hard to accept. Clearly there were Imperial involvements in Christianity in the third century and Christianity seems to have factored even in Imperial attempts to hold the Empire together before the Crisis of the Third Century.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Constantine

Post by Secret Alias »

Eusebius's reference to Paul of Samosata:
Chapter XXVII.—Paul of Samosata, and the Heresy introduced by him at Antioch.

1. After Xystus had presided over the church of Rome for eleven years,2375 Dionysius,2376 namesake of him of Alexandria, succeeded him. About the same time Demetrianus2377 died in Antioch, and Paul of Samosata2378 received that episcopate.

2. As he held, contrary to the teaching of the Church, low and degraded views of Christ, namely, that in his nature he was a common man, Dionysius of Alexandria was entreated to come to the synod.2379 But being unable to come on account of age and physical weakness, he gave his opinion on the subject under consideration by letter.2380 But all the other pastors of the churches from all directions, made haste to assemble at Antioch, as against a despoiler of the flock of Christ.
The idea that Eusebius 'invented' the heresy of Paul of Samosata is one of many ludicrous things in this fourth century conspiracy theory:
Paul of Samosata was one of the most famous heretics of the early Church. He was bishop of Antioch and at the same time viceroy of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. Both versions of Eusebius’ Chron. put the date of his accession to the see of Antioch in the seventh year of Valerian and Gallienus, the year of Abr. 2277 (2278), i.e. in a.d. 259 (260); and Jerome’s version puts his deposition in the year of Abr. 2283, i.e. a.d. 265. These dates, however, are not to be relied upon. Harnack (Zeit des Ignatius, p. 51) shows that he became bishop between 257 and 260. Our chief knowledge of his character and career is derived from the encyclical letter written by the members of the council which condemned him, and quoted in part by Eusebius in chap. 30, below. This, as will be seen, paints his character in very black colors. It may be somewhat overdrawn, for it was written by his enemies; at the same time, such an official communication can hardly have falsified the facts to any great extent. We may rely then upon its general truthfulness. Paul reproduced the heresy of Artemon (see above, Bk. V. chap. 28), teaching that Christ was a mere man, though he was filled with divine power, and that from his birth, not merely from his baptism, as the Ebionites had held. He admitted, too, the generation by the Holy Spirit. “He denied the personality of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, and considered them merely powers of God, like reason and mind in man; but granted that the Logos dwelt in Christ in a larger measure than in any former messenger of God, and taught, like the Socinians in later times, a gradual elevation of Christ, determined by his own moral development, to divine dignity. He admitted that Christ remained free from sin, conquered the sin of our forefathers, and then became the Saviour of the race” (Schaff). At various Antiochian synods (the exact number of them we do not know), efforts were made to procure his condemnation, but they were not successful. Finally one of the synods condemned and excommunicated him, and Domnus was appointed bishop in his place. The date of this synod is ordinarily fixed at 268 or 269, but it cannot have occurred in 269, and probably occurred earlier than 268 (see below, chap. 29, note 1). Since Paul was in favor with Zenobia, his deposition could not be effected until 272, when Aurelian conquered her. Being appealed to by the Church, Aurelian left the decision between the claims of Paul and Domnus to the bishops of Rome and Italy, who decided at once for Domnus, and Paul was therefore deposed and driven out in disgrace.
Our sources for a knowledge of Paul and his heresy are the letter quoted in chap. 30; a number of fragments from the acts of the council, given by Routh, Rel. Sac. III. 287 sq.; and scattered notices in the Fathers of the fourth century, especially Athanasius, Hilary, Gregory of Nyssa, &c. Cf. also Jerome’s de vir. ill. 71, and Epiphanius’ Hær. 65. See Harnack’s article Monarchianismus, in Herzog, second ed. (abbreviated in Schaff-Herzog); also Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog., art. Paulus of Samosata.
2379 This synod to which Dionysius was invited was not the last one, at which Paul was condemned, but one of the earlier ones, at which his case was considered. It is not probable that the synod was called especially to consider his case, but that at two or more of the regular annual synods of Antioch the subject was discussed without result, until finally condemnation was procured (cf. Harnack, ibid. p. 52, and Lipsius, ibid. p. 228). Dionysius mentions the fact that he was invited to attend this synod in an epistle addressed to Cornelius, according to Eusebius, Bk. VI. chap. 46.
It seems to me to be a wholly unnecessary diversion for supposedly 'nascent' Christianity in the fourth century to invent an entire sidebar of an Eastern Christian sect which conspired with an enemy of the Roman Empire and then perpetuate the 'myth' that this 'other Christianity' existed in the third century by 'inventing' an Imperial outpost at Dura Europos in order to bury a fragment of a non-canonical gospel (Tatian's Diatessaron) to prove to archaeologists that Pete the mountainman was a great scholar.
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Constantine

Post by Leucius Charinus »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:50 am
I previously gave the example of Akhenaten as a wannabe religion maker who failed.
Or consider Genghis Khan, surely one of the most successful conquerors ever. His influence on religion? Not so much.
What was Ashoka's influence over the spread of Buddhism?

Warlords and the book religions

(1) JUDAISM: What about Gmirkin's thesis that Ptolemy II may have been instrumental in the creation of Judiasm? Ptolemy I was one of Alexander's generals.

(2) SASSANID PERSIAN ZOROASTRIANISM: What about the warlord Ardashir's creation of a monotheistic state religion in Sassanid Persia c.222 CE? This was based on a canonised holy writ (the Avesta). Ardashir was the supreme military commander.

(3) CHRISTIANITY: The warlord and supreme military commander Constantine publishes the NT and LXX Bible codex the holy writ of the Christian religion. The Christian revolution of the 4th century (325-381 CE) culminates in Nicene orthodoxy.

(4) ISLAM: The warlord Muhammad (or the next generation of his successors) are in supreme military command of the Arabian empire and implement a centralised monotheistic state religion based on the holy writ of the Quran.


Comparing Constantine and Ardashir

You should note that Constantine would have had a blueprint of what to do by his intelligence of what Ardashir did in Persia only 100 years before 325 CE. For a comparison between Constantine and Ardashir see:
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_009.htm



SUMMARY

Do you happen to observe a common theme here? At the zenith of their supreme military power here are several examples of warlords implementing and quite possibly creating a centralised monotheistic BOOK religion based on a holy writ which went through a process of canonisation. Why did they do this? Well they had just conquered vast geographical areas and were looking for efficient and cost effective ways to maintain these areas.

It was very expensive to retain a legion of troops in each city and town. So they created a holy book and a clergy with a representative in each city / town. These they appointed across the geographical spaces of their empire, each of whom pointed back to the authority of the central warlord. It was the most efficient and cheapest way to control the empire.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Constantine

Post by StephenGoranson »

Buddhism existed before Ashoka.
Zoroastrianism existed before Persian kings signed up.
Mohammad began with one follower, one of his wives.

Christianity existed before Constantine joined.
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Constantine

Post by Leucius Charinus »

StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 4:50 am L.C./Pete wrote above:

"Everything should be questioned. Our own hypotheses, others' hypotheses and even those which have been long held by practically everyone."

But where, if anywhere, is his questioning of his Constantine hypothesis to be found?
In the concluding section of the paper outlining my 2007 thesis / hypothesis I wrote:

The thesis that Constantine invented his own religion is eminently falsifiable, and can be refuted either in whole or in part with the provision of appropriate unambiguous evidence from the fields of archaeology and/or science. I have attempted to gather together and exhaustively review all this available evidence in this article, but as most researchers will acknowledge, information is still forthcoming from the field

So I have identified and questioned evidence such as the purported Dura house church being discussed in a separate thread, along with Dura Parchment 24. Setting the discussion of these two 1930's Dura discoveries aside in the Dura thread for one moment, what other evidence would you adduce that falsifies a 4th century terminus ad quem for Christian origins? Surely mainstream scholarship was reliant upon other evidence prior to 1932. What is this evidence?

Don't bother citing material from the New testament or the ecclesiastical histories written by Eusebius or his continuators since the hypothesis being explored is that the Nicene church [industry] fabricated its own pseudo-history in respect of the "early Christians".

Archeological evidence and physical manuscripts which can be securely dated would be welcome. Especially Christian material dated prior to the 4th century by means of radiocarbon C14 dating would get Constantine and Eusebius off the hook.
schillingklaus
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Re: Constantine

Post by schillingklaus »

Ashoka invented euhemeristically a historical Buddha in order to abuse buddhism for worldly purposes.

Mohammad is another fiction, as pointed out by Sven Kalisch.
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Constantine

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Secret Alias wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:15 am More problematic is the role of previous Emperors in Christianity. For instance:
* Eusebius' assertion that the emperor Philip the Arab became Christian to glorify the celebration of the millennial games of Rome.

* The Roman Emperors who supposedly persecuted "Our Heroes":

The Nine Claimed Pagan Persecution of Christians

1. * Nero 64 to 68 Tacitus' Annals XV.44 (11th) Tertullian, Lactantius, Eusebius, etc
2. Domitian 89 to 96 Dio Cassius (67.14.1-2); execution of Flavius Clemens for "atheism"
3. Trajan 98 to 117 Pliny, Letters 10.96; Trajan in Pliny, Letters 10.97
4. Marcus Aurelius 161 to 180 Lyon (177 CE), Eusebius HE, 5.1.5,7.
5. Septimius Severus 193 to 211 Clement of Alexandria; Perpetua - Felicity; Leonides
6. Maximinus the Thracian 235 Pope Pontian Hippolytus banished to island of Sardinia.
7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEsian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305; retribution against the "Righteous Men" who silenced Apollo. (The Christians "hacked" into the comms channel between Apollo and his priests)


The mean and nasty pagan emperors
Persecutions: History, myth or late fictional propaganda?

Anyone running a book?
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